CalGovOpsCalifornia Government Operations Agency Secretary Marybel Batjer has selected Camille Crittenden, Executive Director of the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society and the Banatao Institute, to serve as Chair of the newly formed blockchain working group. Secretary Batjer also announced the 20 members of the working group.

Camille brings with her a wealth of experience and knowledge about this topic, and I am thrilled to have her lead this important effort,” said Secretary Batjer. “Blockchain is a unique, emerging technology, and I look forward to this group exploring its potential for the state.

Marybel Batjer
Marybel Batjer

State of California blockchain working group

Resulting from legislation enacted in 2018, Assembly Bill 2658 (Calderon, Chapter 875, Statutes of 2018), the blockchain working group was established under the Government Operations Agency. The requirement is to:

  • research and document the developing technology’s potential uses, risks and benefits where relevant to state government and California-based businesses
  • report to the Legislature by July 1, 2020.

Representing multiple disciplines, the 20-person working group includes experts in:

  • technology
  • business
  • law
  • privacy
  • consumer organisations
  • state government.

In addition to the working group, a broad range of stakeholders – with a diverse range of interests affected by state policies – will be consulted in order to provide input on recommendations. The working group is expected to hold its first meeting in September, 2019.

Distributed ledger systems hold promising opportunities not only for cryptocurrency but for areas of social impact—such as documenting land and property rights, ensuring chain of custody for legal evidence and supply chains, and giving consumers greater control over their financial and health data—applications in utilities like energy and water, and more,” said Chair Crittenden. “I am honored to lead this important working group on possible blockchain applications for the state of California.

Working group members

The 20 members include:

Camille Crittenden
Camille Crittenden
  • Assembly member Ian Calderon
  • Senator Robert M. Hertzberg
  • Benjamin Bonte (Department
    of Industrial Relations, Chief Information Officer)
  • Kem Musgrove (Franchise Tax Board, Chief Information Officer)
  • Sergio Gutierrez (California Environmental Protection Agency, Chief Information Officer)
  • Amy Tong (California Department of Technology, State Chief Information Officer)
  • Ted Ryan (Department of Finance, Designee)
  • Radhika Iyengar-Emens (Consumer Organization Representative)
  • Kai Stinchcombe (Consumer Organization Representative)
  • Arshad Noor (Privacy Organization Representative)
  • Sheila Warren (Privacy Organization Representative)
  • Jason Albert (Legal Representative)
  • Liz Chien (Legal Representative)
  • Michele Neitz (Legal Representative)
  • Anne Neville-Bonilla (Non-Technology Industry Representative)
  • Ben Bartlett (Non-Technology Industry Representative)
  • Meredith Lee (Non-Technology Industry Representative)
  • Audrey Chaing (Technology Industry Representative)
  • Brian Behlendorf (Technology Industry Representative)
  • David L. Tennenhouse (Technology Industry Representative).

Enterprise Times: what does this mean

State or national working groups run the risk that they become talking shops that produce little. This State of California blockchain working group has, at the least, the mandate to produce a report by mid-2020.

Whether it will produce anything of interest remains an open question. But, in its formulation, it shows a great deal more sensitivity than the UK’s politically posturing All-Party Parliamentary Group on Blockchain.

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Charles Brett
Charles Brett is a business/technology analyst consultant. His specialist areas include enterprise software, blockchain and enterprise mobility tech (including metering). Specific industry sectors of interest and experience include finance (especially systems supporting wholesale finance), telecommunications and energy. Charles has spoken at multiple industry conferences, has written for numerous publications (including the London Times and the Financial Times). He was the General Chair of the bi-annual High Performance Systems Workshop, 2005. In addition he is an author and novelist. His Technology books include: Making the Most of Mobility Vol I (eBook, 2012); Explaining iTunes, iPhones and iPads for Windows Users (eBook, 2011); 5 Axes of Business Application Integration (2004). His published novels, in the Corruption Series, include: The HolyPhone Confessional Crisis, Corruption’s Price: A Spanish Deceit and Virginity Despoiled. The fourth in The Corruption Series - Resurrection - has is now available. Charles has a B.A. and M.A in Modern History from the University of Oxford. He has lived or worked in Italy, Abu Dhabi, South Africa, California and New York, Spain, Israel, Estonia and Cyprus.

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